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THE KINGDOM OF THE HEART

“You are the rivers and waterfalls. You are the mountains and forests.  You are the ocean waves hitting the shore. You are the sky and the wind, the storms of thunder and lightning, the rain, the quiet ponds. You are the forces of nature, the sun moon and stars. You are made of all the elements of creation. “

— Caboclo Caçador de Oxossí

O CAMINHO DO SOL - THE WAY OF THE SUN

The Path of Spiritual and Mediumship Development

This course is an introduction to the Brazilian Spiritual Tradition of Umbanda.  We will explore the diverse religious and cultural traditions that gave birth to Umbanda in Brazil, learn the cosmology of Umbanda, the ways it is practiced and the many kinds of beings that arrive in the spiritual works to heal and to teach.  This course is designed to accompany the study of spiritual and mediumship development in the tradition of Umbanda. It is meant as both an experiential journey and a scholarly study. The role of Mãe Morderecí as an Ialorixá is to assist each participant with their Mediumship Development and understanding of Umbanda, as well as, their spiritual growth on the path of their own healing.

COURSE 1 - THE KINGDOM OF THE HEART

WEEK 1 - ORIENTATION: WHAT IS UMBANDA? WHAT IS MEDIUMSHIP?       
In the first class we will explore the birth of Umbanda, as well as, an overview of its history from 1908 to present day. We will go over important perspectives on the tradition and practice of Umbanda, especially as it relates to the path of mediumship development.  We will explore the four pillars of spiritual and mediumship development - Love, Humility and Truth to be able to give Charity. We will explore an overview of the spiritual life journey from before birth to after passage from this world. We will discuss challenges that we face living in modern culture that has lost much of its indigenous understanding. Introduction to the Caboclos and Caboclas and the Orixas Oxala and Yemanja.

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WEEK 2 - INTRODUCTION TO THE COSMOLOGY OF UMBANDA
In the second class we will explore the cosmology of Umbanda beginning with the the Orixas, the creation of the world, and understanding the Orixas as the forces of nature. We will cover an overview of all the Guides of Umbanda, including the lines and phalanxes of the Caboclos, the central importance of the Caboclos, Pretos Velhos and Crianças in Umbanda, as well as, all the forms of Spiritual Guides and entities that arrive to work in Umbanda.  We will also cover the unseen world, the Egun epidemic, spiritual Self Defense and the unique role of each person in the world.

WEEK 3 - ANSWERING THE CALL - HERE I AM
In the third class, we will cover how to understand your relationship to your Orixas.  We will cover how to relate to and communicate with your guides. We will explore the definitions and differences of conscious, semi-conscious and unconscious mediumship.   We will have an overview of all the forms of Mediumship, clairvoyance, clairaudience, presentience, intuitive, premonition, automatic writing, and all the forms of incorporation.  A great challenge to developing mediums is working with your ego - We will discuss various techniques and perspectives on how to overcome egoic activity and self-consciousness. An essential part of progress for many developing mediums is learning to love yourself, letting go of inhibitions and learning to trust your intuition.  Lastly we will discuss how to listen to and follow the guidance of your guides. We will continue the introductory exploration of the Pretos Velhos and the Orixas Xango and Iansa.

WEEK 4 DISCOVERING THE UNSEEN WORLD
In the fourth class we will explore how to identify your Spiritual Guide.   We will cover an overview of the stages of mediumship development and how to identify what stage you are in. We will discuss the challenges on the path of heart-centered mediumship development.  We will explore the use of plants in Umbanda for Defumação (smudging), herbal banhos, spiritual cleansing, Amacy, spiritual protection, and spiritual self defense. We will continue the introductory exploration of the Eres spirits and the Orixas Ogum and Oba.

WEEK 5 -  HISTORY AND PRACTICE OF SPIRITISM AND ITS CONNECTION TO UMBANDA
In our fifth class, we will explore the history of Spiritism and its current form of practice in Brazil. We will go over the life of Allan Kardec and Chico Xavier.  We will explore its connection to Umbanda. We will give an overview of the Spiritist Codex and the works and life of Chico Xavier. We will go over the film Nosso Lar - Our Home.  We will continue the introductory exploration of the Boiadeiros and the Orixas Oxossi and Oxum.

WEEK 6 -  HISTORY AND PRACTICE OF CANDOMBLE AND ITS CONNECTION TO UMBANDA
In our sixth class we will learn about the connections and differences between the traditions of Umbanda and Candomble. We will explore an overview of the history of Candomble.  We will continue our introductory exploration of the Orixas Obaluae and Ossaim.

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WEEK 7 UMBANDA, SELF - EMPOWERMENT AND COMPLETING ONE’S LIFE MISSION
In our seventh class we will explore the primary purpose of Umbanda - assisting each person realize their life mission.  Entering into the battle, revealing the mythological, finding oneself and one’s life mission on the spiritual path. We will continue our introductory exploration of the Orixas Exu and Orunmila.
                         
WEEK 8 -   MEDIUMSHIP - INITIATION  
In the eighth week we will explore how Initiation in Umbanda Works and what it means for the practitioner.  What is Amacy. What are guias de conta. What are the roles of Initiates in the tradition and practice of Umbanda.  We will continue our introductory exploration of the Orixas Nana Buruque and Oxumare.

WEEK 9 - MEDIUMSHIP - BANCO
In the ninth class we will dive straight into the second level of  mediumship and participation in the spiritual works - the Banco (the bench). What is the role of the Banco in the Spiritual Works. Other topics will include what is a discharge medium, what is dis-obsession, what is a Spiritual and Energetic Passe and how do we understand spiritual cleansing within the works of Umbanda. We will continue our introductory exploration of the Orixas Iroko and Tempo.

WEEK 10 - THE KINGDOM OF THE HEART AND THE CALL OF SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN UMBANDA
The discipline of Walking with your Guides, relating to, respecting and working with your Guides. The four pillars of spiritual and mediumship development Love, Humility and truth, to be able to give charity. And lastly what does it mean to Umbanda as a Spiritual Path. We will conclude our introductory exploration of the Orixas Ibejis, Oxala and Yemanja.

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WHAT IS UMBANDA?

Umbanda is a Brazilian Spiritual Tradition that combines Indigenous Beliefs, Spiritism, Catholicism and Candomblé.   In Umbanda the Heavens come down to the Earth. The Caboclos and Pretos Velhos, the beings of light and healing, the beings of nature, arrive on the sacred ground of the Terreiro carrying with them the presence of the Orixás - the pure forces of nature.

It is an open tradition, accepting of everyone, from every walk of life, no matter their beliefs, culture or tradition. Umbanda is a non-dogmatic tradition based on practice and experience rather than a set of structured beliefs. The Umbandistas develop their connection to the inward spiritual dimensions through the practice of mediumship development.  Through drumming, singing and dancing, the practitioners call on the illuminated beings that arrive in the spiritual works to heal, to counsel and to teach.

In Umbanda we hold the credence that before we were born the illuminated Beings, the Caboclos and Pretos Velhos were with us.  According to Umbanda, these gracious beings carefully prepared us for our birth and sent us to Earth with the purest hope and prayers for our success. Like patient gardeners watching over their nursery, the Caboclos and Pretos Velhos watch over us now and many of them know us better than even we know ourselves.

According to Umbanda, each person of the Earth carries in their heart a purpose that is the very essence of their nature and the very reason they were born.  Each person has a purpose to complete their life mission and to fully realize and express their purest nature, sharing with others the gifts they have brought into the world. However, because of past karmas and the darkness of the world, there are myriad obstacles that stand in the way of completing their life mission.

In Umbanda we teach that each person must battle to redeem their karma, to overcome the darkness and to give the gifts they carry within them to the world.  Each person, when they are able to fully and completely be the pure nature of their unique self and overcome the obstacles, are able to create tremendous joy and great healing for themselves, for their family, for the community and for the world.

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